Read this blog ! Practice your English! Come on ( venga ya)!. No deadlines (fechas tope). No exams. It's just a fun way to learn the language.
He said, "I'm going to be an astronaut".
Teachers, professors, mentors, advisors, trainers, coaches the world over often wonder what happened to their students. Did they go on to do advanced degrees? Did they get the training they needed to become leaders? What happened to the quiet girl, the straight A student, the class leader, the lost students who just needed a helping hand? Did the aspiring medical student become a surgeon? Did the one with a facility for languages travel the world? What about the one who was always helping others? Did she become a social worker? Did the hard-working inspire others? Did they all reach their goals? And what about those excellent athletes, musicians, dancers, orators, mathematicians who amazed their peers? Where are they today? Are they working? Are they happy? Many students had a hard time. They had work to pay for their own tuition, to get the training they needed in order to get better positions and economic stability. Where are they?
Over the years thousands of students have been in my classes. Often times I don't remember their names but I do remember their dreams. One 16 year old in San Francisco could not stay in his seat. He wanted to learn Spanish but he also wanted to be up and moving, the center of attention. I recommended he join a theater group. He did. And he became a professional dancer. Another, here in Spain tried many fields before he became a well-known TV personality. Others were already adults and coming back for language instruction. Some of them were singers and actors, medical personnel and engineers, executive secretaries and managers and entrepreneurs.
Oh, and the excuses for missing classes or not finishing a course were excuses to remember:
1. I have to be on location down south for the next 3 months.
2. I'm in the training. The Formula 1 is next month.
3. I have to go to a convention, a conference, a meeting...
4. I'm being transferred.
3. I'm going to be an astronaut.
Now that last one...an astronaut, was one I would remember. I thought it was most likely Pedro Duque, so in April I had the opportunity to ask him myself when he came to UEM to receive his Doctor Honoris Causa. "No," he said, he hadn't been to any English classes in Madrid other than at his school. He'd learned his English by listening to the Air Force Radio broadcasts when the American base was here in Torrejón. I was surprised to hear that. I really thought it had to have been him. Well, if it wasn't Pedro Duque, who was it?
what happened to: Qué pasó con
straight A student: puro sobresaliente
reach their goals: alcanzar sus metas
amazed their peers: asombraron a sus semejantes
tuition: la matrícula
in order to: para
became: llegar a ser
tried many fields: probó muchos campos de interés
turns out: resulta que
-On April 12th, Pedro Duque received his Doctor Honoris Causa at Universidad Europea-Madrid.
-Pedro Duque was not in my English class all those years ago.